Waterless vs Lesswater

Date posted: 18.09.2020

According to a new study from the National Audit Office, parts of the south and south-east of England will run out of water within the next 20 years if more concerted action is not taken. It estimates the demand for water in England will exceed supply by between 1.1 billion and 3.1 billion litres per day by the 2050s.

It is no surprise then that businesses are being more proactive in looking at ways to become more sustainable, save water and ultimately save money.

Water is a necessity in everyday life and used in everything from your morning cup of tea to flushing your toilet. We simply cannot avoid using it, but there are ways in which we can reduce our consumption.

Toilets, and in particular men’s urinals use a significant amount of water every day. The average urinal cistern holds 9 litres of water and can flush over 96 times every 24 hours, meaning a single cistern can use over 850 litres a day, equating to over 300,000 litres of water per year. It is estimated that each employee uses 40 litres of water a day (excluding urinal flushes), this meaning that, one urinal can consume the same amount of water as over 30 employees per year.

This often leads to urinals being one of the biggest water users for many businesses across the UK, and therefore comes a need to look into the various water conservation products available. Notably, waterless systems. If you were given the two options of Waterless or Lesswater, the Waterless option seems like a no brainer; but is that actually true?

On paper, waterless looks great - a way to completely eradicate one of your biggest consumers of water with no repercussions. However, the reality is often different to this.

Even with a waterless system, it’s unlikely that the urinal will remain completely waterless, as you are often instructed to pour a bucket of water down each urinal occasionally or when smells start to occur. This means you end up using an unquantifiable amount of water and cleaning teams are given an extra workload that is awkward to carry out.

Furthermore, waterless urinals are often covered with special non-stick coatings or claim to be so smooth that no urine can attach to them, but this will not last forever - just think of your non-stick pan after a few months of use.

With no water flowing over the urinal, smells often develop on the urinal surface itself unless there is regular cleaning during the day; adding to the cleaning team's workload.

A fundamental issue with going waterless is your pipework, which is designed to have water flowing through it, not just a small amount of urine.

Plastic pipes will fatigue over time and copper piping reacts with the gases emitted from concentrated urine, meaning micro-cracks and perforations will form. This collects and pools the concentrated urine, causing smells in the washroom, as well as causing leaks, blockages and damage further down the pipework.

A common way that cleaners counteract this issue is by using harsh chemicals to address the blockage issues; thus worsening the problem by destroying any natural bacteria designed to break down the uric salts.

The key words need to be - ease and simplicity. This is where the Ureco succeeds over the competition.

Our solution…

At HSG, we manufacture and install our own urinal sleeve system, the Ureco. The Ureco is a product designed to cut the water usage in a urinal by 96%, flushing just 4 times a day, aiming to save the customer as much money and water as possible. The Ureco is capable of doing this due to the bio enzyme located inside the bio-cap. As urine passes through the urinal a small amount of the bio-enzyme is released into the solution, breaking down the uric salts and the limescale. This means that there is little to no build-up left in the urinal pipework, therefore less water is needed to flow through the urinal which leads to lower water usage and costs. Furthermore, the Ureco can be retrofitted to existing urinals, whereas waterless systems will require you to replace all your urinals, which can be very costly and isn't particularly environmentally friendly.

The Ureco also has a unique odour-lock system. Due to the heavy footfall in some sites, the urinals can come under a substantial amount of use leading to an unappealing smell. However, the Ureco’s odour-lock system restricts any foul odours from rising out of the urinal pipework, leaving you with the fresh and minty smell that the bio-enzyme in the Ureco emits.

Due to the Ureco’s ability to provide clients with all of these benefits along with healthy water savings, HSG were awarded with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation – the highest level of award available for a UK business. You can read more about the process here.

Along with the Ureco, HSG also provides customers with a bespoke urinal bowl cleaner product. This is a PH-neutral product, designed to clean the Ureco and urinal bowl without causing any harm to the living bacteria in the Ureco, allowing it to operate in the best way possible and maximise the performance of the Ureco.

The video below is designed to give you a better understanding of how our award-winning Ureco system works:

If you are interested in reducing your water bills whilst also doing your bit in the constant battle to help the environment, get in touch with us here and learn how HSG’s water conservation products can benefit your site.

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